Pest Management Strategies Against the Coffee Berry Borer (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae).J Agric Food Chem. 2018 May 30; 66(21):5275-5280.JA
Coffee (Coffea arabica and C. canephora) is one of the most widely traded agricultural commodities and the main cash crop in ∼80 tropical countries. Among the factors that limit coffee production, the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari) has been considered the main insect pest, causing losses of over U.S. $500 million dollars annually. Control of this pest has been hindered by two main factors: the cryptic nature of the insect (i.e., protected inside the coffee berry) and the availability of coffee berries in the field allowing the survival of the pest from one generation to the next. Coffee berry borer control has primarily been based on the use of synthetic insecticides. Management strategies have focused on the use of African parasitoids (Cephalonomia stephanoderis, Prorops nasuta, and Phymastichus coffea), fungal entomopathogens (Beauveria bassiana), and insect traps. These approaches have had mixed results. Recent work on the basic biology of the insect has provided novel insights that might be useful in developing novel pest management strategies. For example, the discovery of symbiotic bacteria responsible for caffeine breakdown as part of the coffee berry borer microbiome opens new possibilities for pest management via the disruption of these bacteria. Some chemicals with repellent propieties have been identified, and these have a high potential for field implementation. Finally, the publication of the CBB genome has provided insights on the biology of the insect that will help us to understand why it has been so successful at exploiting the coffee plant. Here I discuss the tools we now have against the CBB and likely control strategies that may be useful in the near future.